Friday, March 4, 2016

Stroke Rate by L.M. Somerton

Lucien Thorne likes to be in control, but the boy he wants to own may take some convincing.

Gorgeous but shy, Benedict Astor does his best to keep a low profile at the rowing club where he works. However, unbeknown to Benedict, he has attracted the attention of Lucien Thorne, rowing aristocracy, an Olympic medallist and a Lord.

Whilst looking for a new rowing partner, Lucien believes he has found what he needs in Ben. He pushes him to his limits on the water and it becomes clear that rowing with the pretty young man is not his only interest. Ben is attracted to Lucien but confused about his feelings. Lucien is demanding, arrogant and dominant—which Benedict responds to even though he feels he should resist.

Fighting emotions he doesn't understand, Ben has to contend with the bullying rowing club president and a humiliating auction of promises.

Lucien recognises Ben's hidden submissive streak and makes his own need for control very clear. He bids for Ben's time and then forces Ben to admit to his own desire to test the ground between them.

When the deeds to the boat club are gambled away, Lucien and Ben must work together to save it. Will their growing love survive the pressure, Ben's uncertainty and Lucien's desire to own him completely?

Reader Advisory: This book contains scorching scenes of dominance and submission between two professional rowers with smoking hot bodies! This includes bondage, chastity devices and orgasm denial, a bratty sub and a foul-mouthed, harsh Dom. There's also a very brief scene of attempted sexual coercion by a character not involved in the relationship.

Publisher's Note: This book has been previously published by Pride Publishing. It has been revised and re-edited for release in 2016.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Ben, a university student, works at the local rowing club. When Lord Lucien Thorne, an Olympic rower, approaches him and asks to row with him, it quickly becomes obvious that Lucien is interested in more than a rowing partner. I loved the dom/sub relationship here. Ben is inexperienced but open and willing and it is clear that Lucien will take care of him while still pushing his boundaries.

Between the rowing scenes on the river and the time spent at the Castle, this story has lovely scenery and the author's writing gave this story a calmness I really liked. When it was over I was disappointed because I wanted more time with Lucien and Ben.

It was great to see a sports romance based around rowing – a sport I only really pay attention to during the Olympics. I had no idea rowing could be so sexy. Bring on the games in Rio.

This is definitely a very hot and steamy erotic read. The chemistry between the two men is wonderful, and the M/s dynamic is very enticing. There is a fine balance between what most of us can see as acceptable and going too far, and although this skirts right on the edge at times, it just manages to keep its balance (for me at least). There was a good fleshing out of the main characters, and some interesting points about class, status and money thrown in for good measure. I did have a few issues with the rowing terminology as I am a rower, and so some parts were impossible – Lucien cannot stroke and also watch Ben's back – because Ben would be seated behind him, and a pair is two rowers with a single blade each, but they were sculling in a double. That said, the atmosphere and the level of seriousness that rowers take in terms of training, eating, etc, let alone the hierarchy, were very well done.

I was sad when the story ended as I wanted to live longer in their company, which to me is always the sign of a good story with engaging protagonists. Thank you!

Stroke Rate started strong for me, but it seems to lose steam somewhere and ends on a bland note.

Ben works for the rowing club. He has to do any and every job. In return he gets free room and board while he's in college. He's a good rower but doesn't really get noticed until the star rower Lucien takes notice of him.

Lucien sees the submissive in Ben. Lucien thinks he knows exactly what Ben needs, pain. Ben's a virgin and has never experienced this type of play. Ben's shy and confused as to why he needs to have someone dominate him.

Lucien is full of secrets and past issues. Ben, without any prior BDSM knowledge, willingly gives in without complaint. It was a strong start but just fizzled out for me.

I really enjoyed this M/M BDSM romance. The beginning was a bit slow going but it gets steamy pretty quick and I’m giving it a solid 4 stars.

Ben is a student at the local university and in exchange for working at a country club for rowing he has a place to stay. Ben is submissive but has no idea how much he craves being dominated. Until Lucien comes along and demands that Ben submit. Outside the bedroom, Lucien has pulled Ben into the sport of rowing, testing Ben’s stamina and skill at the sport. When Ben’s boss at the club makes a horrible bet while gambling that could cost them the rowing club, Ben and Lucien step in as a team to win back the rights to the club.

I’ve read several M/M books but I had no idea how many different toys there were for MM BDSM, it was interesting learning about them. I really enjoyed the progression of Lucien and Ben’s relationship, Lucien is a dominant badass but when Ben needs him, he has a heart of gold and I came to love him by the end of the book. I definitely recommend you check this one out, especially if you enjoy a good M/M romance.

Lucinda lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.

She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She's fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.

Connect with L.M.

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Google+  ~  Blog

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Stroke Rate by L.M. Somerton to read and review.

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